In yet another example of utter police negligence and inaptitude, officers in Southaven, Mississippi, went to the wrong house and fatally shot the wrong man.
Documents show that Tate County had a warrant out for one Samuel Pearman who was wanted for domestic assault. But when cops arrived on Surrey Lane where the man lived, they showed up at the wrong house — one where Ismael Lopez and his wife Claudia Linares lived.
The couple was asleep inside but when they heard the commotion, Lopez went to the door to see what’s happening. That’s when his wife heard gunshot and ran to her husband to find him dead.
The man was shot by Southaven police officers who claimed a dog in the home charged at them and they only opened fire after Lopez failed to put down his firearm, despite the officers telling him to do so multiple times.
Lopez had a rifle in the house but it was nowhere near where his body was discovered.
His neighbor, Nicholas Tramel, also told a different story. He said his room is right next to Lopez’s home and he never heard the police yell for him to drop the weapon before they shot him.
DeSoto County District Attorney John Champion said earlier this week that it was possible cops responded to the wrong address — and this certainly seemed to be the case. Pearman’s house had a large “P” on the door and was located across the street from Lopez’s house. While the officers botched their job, the man was posting on Facebook on how he was grievously wronged.
“They made me out to be something I'm not,” Pearman wrote. “I haven't hurt her. She's the one who slapped me.”
“Someone didn't take the time to analyze the address,” attorney Murray Wells, who represents the family, said. “This is incredibly tragic and embarrassing to this police department that they can't read house numbers.”
Wells also implied the police did not tell the true account of the incident because they could face charges for shooting the wrong man.
"There was a gun on the premises, but the man did not have the gun with him when police shot him," he said.
His wife now wants justice for the wrongful killing of her husband.
"When they came to my office, it wasn't money they sought. They wanted the story to come out," Wells said. "What they want everyone to know is who he was and what happened."
As for Pearman, the police still have been unable to track him. The man is accused of choking a woman at a gas station in Independence, MS, who asked him to pay for her gas because she forgot her debit card at home. That’s when the man said he was “going to smash her face in” and began choking her in front of her 4-year-old daughter.
The man fled after the station quickly and the police attempted to trace him back to his home, which led to the tragedy.
The officer who fired the shots has been placed on desk duty but has not been suspended, according to Southaven police.
Banner, Thumbnail: Reuters